What are games companies looking for at the moment? Develop speaks to Amiqus’ Stig Strand to see how job hunters can stand out

Looking for the next-gen game developers

Like any job market, it can be difficult to know just what potential employers are after.

But according to 2015 Develop Award-winning recruitment specialist Amiqus, recently there has been a big push for developers who can work on the newer PlayStation 4 and Xbox One hardware.

“Since E3, we’ve noticed that there been a big spike in demand for PS4 and Xbox One developers,” head of Amiqus’ recruitment teams Stig Strand tells Develop.

“Since the positive press about the consoles at E3, it feels like the publishers are starting to re-invest in pedigree console developers. That’s been the main change in the market.

“Also, what’s ongoing in the industry is a balancing of teams to attract more women into roles. Roughly half of the player community is female, but often we find it’s less than 20 per cent females in development.

“Finally, due to the announcement that VR technology is on the horizon – hardware like Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus – there’s a demand for people that are slightly technical in their roles and can wear multiple hats, because they’re having to deal with a lot of physics-based reality techniques that need people who really want to solve technical problems in the future. That’s an area of the market that’s increased in popularity in the last three months.”

But what tips would Strand offer to job hunters looking to get a foot up in the industry?

“We tell our candidates to embrace social media,” Strand says.

“A CV is usually the first point of call, with social media becoming a close second. People will quickly go online, have a look at a Facebook profile, a LinkedIn update, a Twitter feed to see if the candidate would fit within the culture of the company. Job hunters need to ensure they have a common theme across their social media. If you have a silly picture on Facebook, you wouldn’t put it on LinkedIn.

“And online portfolios need to be up-to-date. You won’t believe how many broken links we see being sent out. If that’s the first piece of work that someone gets to see, then it won’t leave a great impression.”

And after you’ve impressed an employer so much they have invited you in for a job interview. What now?

“Always check the cultural fit of the organisation,” Strand explains. “Speak to a recruiter or someone who works there and find out what the dress code is there to ensure you have the right outlook for the interview. That way you’ll feel comfortable while you are sat there.

“Explain more about your background and experience. Make sure you have played the game from the studio you are going to see. It’s really important to have a background and an understanding in not just the people you meet, but also the projects you are going to be working on in the future. Maybe have some ideas of your own for the game to potentially pitch in, some mechanics or features to show off your skills.”

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